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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/6/05)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
The second scheduled equine charter bringing European contestants to Chicago for Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing Aug. 13 is scheduled to arrive Tuesday, and on board that KLM charter will be the horses conditioned by one of the greatest trainers in Irish racing history.
Arlington's one-day International Festival over the local lawn on the second Saturday in August is comprised of the Arlington Million, centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season; the $750,000 Beverly D., sister race to the Million; and the $400,000 Secretariat, restricted to 3-year-old turf stars of international caliber. Together, that trio of classics makes up the only three Grade I races offered in Illinois on an annual basis.
Aidan O'Brien, 35, a native of Wexford, has enjoyed a meteoric career to quickly reach international icon status as Thoroughbreds trainer despite his youth. In addition to European accomplishments too numerous to mention, O'Brien's success in Chicago has been highlighted thus far by High Chaparral's victory in the 2002 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf when those Grade I World Thoroughbred Championships were held at Arlington Park.
However, O'Brien also saddled Mrs. John Magnier's Powerscourt to be first under the wire in last summer's Arlington Million -- only to be disqualified from first and placed fourth -- and Powerscourt is expected to be on board Tuesday's flight in search of redemption in Arlington Million XXIII.
Also expected aboard O'Brien's Tuesday charter will be Secretariat candidate Grand Central, and at least one -- and possibly two -- candidates for the Beverly D.
The British-bred Powerscourt was most recently the runner-up in the Group II Scottish Derby at Ayr July 18 in a tune-up outing for the Arlington Million, while the Irish-bred Grand Central was two and a-half lengths the best in his final Secretariat prep at Leopardstown July 13.
The more certain of O'Brien's two Beverly D. possibilities -- Michael Tabor & Mrs. John Magnier's Virginia Waters -- was the heroine of the Group I 1000 Guineas at Newmarket May 1. The daughter of Kingmambo was most recently sixth in the Group I Nassau Stakes at Goodwood July 30 when left without running room.
That same ownership duo's Mona Lisa, a British-bred daughter of European champion Giant's Causeway, remains a Beverly D. possibility after finishing third in the Group I Irish Oaks July 17 at The Curragh before winning a listed stakes at Cork in her last start Aug. 1.
Three candidates for the Grade I Arlington Million and two members of the distaff set likely for the Grade I Beverly D. are scheduled to arrive Tuesday on an equine charter flight from Southern California, four days in advance of their prospective engagements in Arlington's International Festival of Racing Aug. 13.
The Arlington Million, the $750,000 Beverly D. and the $400,000 Secretariat make up Arlington's troika of Grade I events all slated for the second Saturday in August.
The equine passenger manifest slated to arrive at O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday's flight from the West Coast includes Arlington Million candidates Sweet Return, owned by Red Oak Stable and most recently winner of Del Mar's Grade I Eddie Read Handicap July 24; Triple B Farms' Whilly, most recently the hero of Hollywood's Grade I American Invitational Handicap July 3; and Tom Baxter's Fourty Niners Son, runner-up when beaten a length and a half behind Sweet Return last time.
On board in advance of the Beverly D., sister race to the Arlington Million, is expected to be the early Beverly D. favorite Megahertz, the 6-year-old mare owned by Michael Bello and trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bobby Frankel. Megahertz is undefeated in three starts this season, all in Grade II company on the West Coast.
Also expected for the Beverly D. on that flight is Llers Corporation's Halo Ola, beaten two lengths for all of it despite a five-wide trip in Del Mar's Grade I John C. Mabee Handicap July 23 in her last trip to the post.
Carol & Charles Hammersmith's Miss Terrible, based at Arlington Park this summer in advance of her projected engagement in the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes Aug. 13, breezed five-eighths in :58 during training hours at Arlington Saturday morning.
The Argentine-bred accomplished splits of :12 1/5, :23 1/5, :35 1/5, :47 1/5, and galloped out three-quarters in 1:10 3/5.
Miss Terrible was most recently fifth in Hollywood's Grade I Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap May 30, but won Churchill's Grade III WinnerComm Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby Day May 7.
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